Over the past couple of reviews, I have chastised the Beastie Boys somewhat for their inconsistency in terms of sound and approach, i.e. for not sticking to their core competency – rapping. It was not because they were doing a bad job of other genres, especially in the jazz-funk domain; rather, it was that these excursions just didn’t sit that comfortably alongside each other. The shift from loungy funk to shouty punk to vocal heavy raps was often too jarring.
So I was delighted when they pieced together their various instrumental efforts for this compilation. This is the Boys as hip and groovy, skivvy wearing, funny cigarette smoking, jazz funksters. The tracks sit together so perfectly that it is hard to imagine that they weren’t conceived as a coherent whole.
This could be the soundtrack for some 70s blaxploitation film, or effort of a some Scando-Japanese progressive jazz collective. There is not a lyric in sight.
I challenge anyone to say this is what they expected to hear from Ad-Rock etc. It’s a stand-out effort for mine.
File under: Funky fest.